Sept. 20, 12:30, ACC Network
Here's The Deal:
For the first time in 20 years, Duke is 3-0, courtesy of last week’s 41-3 cruise past visiting Kansas. The fast start, despite key losses on both sides of the ball, provides further proof that last year’s Coastal Division championship in Durham was no fluke. The Blue Devils will look to sweep the non-conference schedule with this week’s visit from Tulane. The Green Wave got past Southeastern Louisiana for its first win, but this hasn’t so far been the same team that surprised Conference USA in 2013.
Why Tulane Might Win:
The Blue Devils have yet to face a team capable of beating it on the ground, but that changes this week. In Sherman Badie, the Green Wave houses a gifted back, with the giddy-up to go the distance. And QB Tanner Lee is gradually getting more comfortable in his role as the offensive pilot.
Why Duke Might Win:
Duke has found a new toy on offense. The Anthony Boone-led passing game has thrown eight touchdown passes without a pick, spreading the ball around to Jamison Crowder, Issac Blakeney and Max McCaffrey. But Boone & Co. will be even more effective now that defenses must account for true freshman RB Shaun Wilson, who rushed for three scores and a school-record 245 yards on just 12 carries against Kansas.
Who To Watch Out For:
Sans a lot of star power, the Duke D is playing well, yielding just 11 points per game and not a single touchdown pass. Since Lee has been picked six times, he’ll have to pay special attention to the whereabouts of S Jeremy Cash and CB Devon Edwards, the Blue Devils’ most disruptive defensive backs.
What’s Going To Happen:
Unless Tulane can dominate in turnover margin, it lacks the defensive talent to consistently stop the Duke attack. Now that the Blue Devils have a backfield threat, it’ll be that much tougher to inhibit David Cutcliffe’s kids.
Prediction: Duke 38 … Tulane 17
Line: Duke -17; O/U: 54.5